Khan and Mahmmod bag two apiece as Essex fight to avoid the follow-on

Thursday 29th July 2010

Azhar Mahmood was the pick of Kent’s attack with two for 30

Kent v Essex LV= County Championship Division One. Day two, at Canterbury.

By Mark Pennell

Kent“s attack maintained miserly lines and lengths on Friday afternoon to reduce Essex to 194 for six at the close – for an overall lead of 226 at the mid-point.
Former Essex skipper Mark Pettini anchored the reply with an unbeaten 80 scored in four and a half hours as the visitors moved to within 77 of avoiding the follow-on.
Pettini featured in a fourth-wicket stand of 73 with James Foster before Kent hit back in the final session to claim three more visiting scalps.
Foster (41) had his off stump pegged back in the first over of a new Azhar Mahmood stint then Tim Phillips nicked a bat-pad chance to Joe Denly at short leg to give Malinda Bandara his first wicket of the match.
Then, six overs from the close, Amjad Khan appeared to rush Ravi Bopara“s defensive shot and grazed the outside edge to give Geraint Jones a simple catch.
Having posted a first inning total of 420 earlier in the day, Rob Key“s side took three wickets in the mid-session for the cost of only 82 runs as the Essex batsmen found survival and run-scoring equally difficult.
Kent“s first breakthrough came after 23 overs when Amjad Khan from the Nackington Road End got one to lift at Jaik Mickleburgh (20) who could only fend the ball throat-high to Darren Stevens at third slip.
In the next over Simon Cook ran one away from Tom Westley (0) to have the right-hander caught low down at slip by James Tredwell.
After a rousing reception, former Kent favourite Matt Walker (10) dug in and appeared well set for a big score until Mahmood shaped one up the slope to graze the outside edge through to Jones.
At the start of the day Kent“s fight for maximum bonus batting points came through ninth-wicket partners Bandara and Mahmood who added 52 in 15.5 overs.
The hosts lost their first wicket of the morning to the 11th ball of the day from Andrew Carter who, despite labouring in his run up from the Nackington Road End, got one to nip in off the seam to left-handed Tredwell (19) and brush the bottom edge through to the keeper.
Two balls later, David Masters ducked one in at Khan (1) to trap the night watchman leg before when playing late and around his front pad to make it 361 for eight.
With 10 balls to spare before the 110 over cut off point, Mahmood pushed a single off his legs to post the Kent 400 for a fifth and final batting bonus points, and both he and Bandara attempted to play with more freedom thereafter.
The attacking intent backfired for Mahmood when, with his score on 28, he sliced an attempted straight drive against carter to substitute fielder Chris Wright at mid-off.
Last man Simon Cook hit two boundaries before edging a cut off Bryce McGain to end the Kent innings at 12.27pm and leave McGain with figures of five for 151 on Essex debut.